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Season 20 Warlock Sea Giant Zoo GvG Wild Deck

Last updated on Jan 30, 2015 at 21:59 by Sottle 11 comments

Table of Contents

Disclaimer: this deck has been archived. It remains on the website for documentation purposes, but we no longer maintain it and no longer guarantee that it works well in the current meta-game.

This guide outlines a fast, aggressive Warlock deck. At an extremely low dust total of 1,580 plus Naxxramas cards, it is one of the cheapest decks that can compete at the highest ranks of the ladder as well as in a competitive setting.

Update: This deck was previously referred to as simply Zoo, however we now have a separate deck with a more standard build to fill this role.

1. About the Author

This deck is presented to you by Sottle, a professional Hearthstone player who plays for compLexity Gaming. Sottle regularly streams on Twitch and explains all of his moves. Watching him is a good opportunity to see how this and other decks play out in practice, and how decisions are made in real time.

2. S20 Warlock Sea Giant Zoo GvG Wild Deck

Our deck costs 1,580 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Warlock Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

The general strategy of Zoo is to aggressively build a board with small efficient minions and use your numerous buff cards to create favourable trades into higher cost minions. Combining this with the Warlock's Life Tap Hero Power, you can quickly overwhelm your opponent with card draw and create an imposing board state that they will not be able to answer.

A common mistake for newer players with this deck is to prioritise attacking the opponent’s life total directly. Instead you should focus on making favourable trades to maintain minions on the board and create more damage over time.

The key to playing this deck at a high level is minion positioning. When playing minions onto the board always consider cards like Defender of Argus and Dire Wolf Alpha, which rely on minion positions to apply their unique effects. For example, if you intend to apply a Defender of Argus buff to a Nerubian Egg you will want to place the Egg in the middle of your board to maximise the options of which other minion to taunt.

The early game is extremely important with this deck, so in the early turns you want to quickly establish a board advantage. The key cards to facilitate this are Flame Imp, Argent Squire, Voidwalker, and Abusive Sergeant. Using combinations of the Argent Squire's Divine Shield, or the Voidwalkers high health alongside the buff from Abusive Sargent you can begin to remove your opponent's early minions whilst keeping your own alive, creating a board advantage that you can compound on in the later turns.

Following this you will transition to the mid-game where you will look to drop difficult to remove minions such as Nerubian Egg, Haunted Creeper, and Harvest Golem to consolidate your board position and make it difficult for your opponent to answer your board with AoE spells such as Lightning Storm or Consecration. It is important during this period that you do not over commit to the board if you do not have any of the above Deathrattle minions in play. Try to be aware of what your opponent can do to clear the board, and hold back sufficient cards in your hand to follow up the next turn if the worst should happen.

The buff cards in the deck such as Abusive Sergeant, Dire Wolf Alpha and Dark Iron Dwarf are vital in order to create favourable trades for your small minions. For example, an Abusive Sergeant buff placed on a Flame Imp can trade into a Chillwind Yeti, creating a huge Mana advantage. You should try to use these cards only in these particular situations and avoid using them simply to do damage to the opponent unless you are making a push for the win. Furthermore, these cards are essential for activating your Nerubian Eggs, although you should think about whether you prefer to keep your Egg inactive to prevent potential AoE from your opponent.

Since the nerf to Soulfire, Zoo decks have been struggling to find efficient removal. This deck runs two copies of Imp-losion as a replacement. It somewhat simulates the effect of Soulfire, since the power of Soulfire was in being able to remove a minion for 0 Mana, and have your full pool of Mana avaialable to play minions. Implosion somewhat mimics this effect, as even though it costs 4, it summons multiple creatures onto the board for you for free, which are fantastic to be used in a later turn with your buff cards. The summoned Imps also have excellent synergy with Knife Juggler.

Sea Giant is included in the deck as a potential finisher. Since the deck plays cards like Haunted Creeper, Echoing Ooze, and Imp-losion, you will often have a large number of minions on board. If your opponent is also using a minion heavy deck, the opportunity to rush out a Sea Giant for an incredibly low Mana cost can be very powerful.

Your other power card in the deck is Doomguard. Due to the nature of the Zoo deck you can often play a Doomguard with an otherwise empty hand and bypass the card discard effect altogether. Since the deck no longer plays Soulfire, you can afford to be a little greedier with your Doomguard. In the past holding on to a Doomguard for too long would result in you drawing into Soulfires or the second Doomguard, and leave you in an awkward position with your discards. Since the chances of this happening are now so greatly reduced, you can often wait until you are able to play out your whole hand before dropping your Doomguard.

3.1. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

General mulligan strategy involves pushing aggressively for a Flame Imp and other 1-drops. With The Coin, a hand of 4 1-drops is fantastic as you can play 2 1-drop minions on Turn 1 followed by another 2 1-drops on Turn 2 and then use your Hero Power to refill on cards. Without the coin a more standard curve of creatures costing 1-3 Mana is preferable.

Against other aggressive decks that look to have a fast start such as Hunter, Mech Mage, or other Zoos, Voidwalker is a key card. Its 1/3 body can trade very favourably into opposing Leper Gnomes or other small minions, especially when targetted with an Abusive Sergeant buff.

You should avoid keeping the more situational cards like Power Overwhelming, and also avoid keeping enticing looking combos like Knife Juggler plus Imp-losion. The key to Zoo is consistency, so you want to be able to play a minion on curve every turn. Your deck will draw so many cards over the course of the game, that you should rely on drawing into the utility cards later when you need them.

3.1.1. Card Swaps

Zoo decks have an incredibly flexible list of cards. The version we have published is the one we believe to be the best, however there are numerous cards that can be considered.

Shieldbearer can be included in place of Argent Squire. Since the deck plays so many buff cards, the potential to turn Shieldbearer into a minion with a huge amount of stats for 1 Mana is very high.

This deck chooses to run 1 Dark Iron Dwarf and 1 Defender of Argus, but you can choose to run 2 of either instead if you prefer.

Alternatively, 1 Imp-losion can be cut to make room for a second Dark Iron Dwarf or Defender of Argus.

4. ChangeLog

  • 30 Jan. 2015: Changed 2 x Undertaker, 2 x Leper Gnome for 2 x Argent Squire, 2 x Shattered Sun Cleric.
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